Already the topmost flour manufacturer in the country, City Group claims to have launched the world's largest flour mill in Narayanganj, with a capacity to produce some 6,150 tonnes of flour under one roof daily, to consolidate its position in the market.
This state-of-the-art and fully automated factory, named Ruposhi Bangla Flour Mill, went into full operation on Tuesday after the implementing agency Buhler AG, a Swiss multinational plant equipment manufacturer, formally handed it over to City Group. The factory has eight milling lines, each having 625 tonne daily production capacity.
The project was executed 24 months after the December 2019 signing of the contract between Buhler and City Group.
Biswajit Saha, executive director of City Group, said, "As far as we are concerned, this flower mill built on a 23-acre plot of land is the largest of its kind in the world. More than Tk3,000 crore has already been invested in this factory so far, excluding the cost of land development. Over 1,500 people have been employed."
All the machinery and necessary technologies have been brought from the famous Swiss company Buhler, he mentioned, adding the entire manufacturing process is fully automated.
There are also 39 silos in the food park that have 305,000-tonne storage capacity. Materials such as wheat, soy, corn, and lentils are shipped and offloaded daily in the food park and are used for trading or for processing in their own plants.
City Group has also given details on how the mill will produce healthy products automatically by maintaining quality.
The raw material, wheat, first goes from the factory silo to the magnetic separation machine where iron content, if there is any, will be separated from wheat. Then the raw material goes to the touch machine where it goes through initial cleaning. After that, the wheat goes to the Vega separator machine via bins. This machine acts as a sieve. Vega separator separates grains larger or smaller than wheat. These activities run in four stages.
The de-stoner machine then removes the stones. The aspirator machine then separates thinner grains from the wheat through air-recycling. The scorer cleans the dirt on the wheat skin. The wheat is then sent to the colour sorter machine. This machine uses 30 cameras to identify and sort other ingredients, including maze, soybeans and sorghum. Humidity is controlled in the MYFD machine. The wheat is then left in the bin for 24 hours and then sent for producing the end product.
Biswajit Saha said there is a state-of-the-art NIR machine for measuring the nutritional value of wheat, in which information on the nutritional value of wheat is automatically displayed.
In addition, there is an automatic housekeeping system to clean the factory floor. This machine will automatically pull the dirt as they fall on the floor.
City Group is one of the leading conglomerates consumer goods manufacturers in the country, which caters for one-third of the total domestic demand for flour (atta, moyda, sooji). At present, the business group has 40 sister concerns that have employed over 25,000 people.
Incorporated in 1971, the company initially processed mustard seeds to make oil. Over the years, City Group has expanded its operations, particularly in the food and feed sector.
The company operates from its huge production plant, 30 kilometres outside the capital city. There, it produces mustard oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, flour, lentils, and rice. City Group produces flour under the TEER brand and supplies to local consumers, bakeries, and restaurants.
The government department concerned does not have exact data on the size of the flour market in the country. However, according to USAID, the demand for wheat used in flour mills across the country in 2021 was 64 lakh tonnes.
City Group is followed by Meghna, Bashundhara, TK, Akij, S Alam, Senakalyan Sangstha and several other large industrial groups in the flour industry. Besides, there are more than 200 small and big factories all over the country, said industry insiders.